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The world of business can be incredibly complicated. It’s an industry littered with specific terms and definitions, systems and hierarchies that can all become a bit too much for anyone unfamiliar with its intricacies. However, much like any other industry, once you take a moment to sit down and look into it, the business industry is incredibly fascinating, and not terribly complicated. As someone who’s worked in high-ranking positions in both the military and in the traditional business world, I’ve had a great deal of experience with these systems and terms.

For anyone looking to learn more about business and becoming a leader in your respective industry, I want to provide as much information as possible to help you on your journey. With that being said, I’ve decided to offer some insight into operational planning.

For any business, there must be goals. And the most common issue shared between every company, is how to achieve these goals. Every company has a different set of goals, and in order to achieve these goals, there must be a strategy in place. That’s where operational planning comes into play.

Operational planning is, in essence, an organization’s set of detailed tasks and strategies devised to achieve the large-scale goals of upper management. Most companies follow a tier of strategies to clarify goals and achieve them. The system is as follows: Strategic Plan, Tactical Plan and Operational Plan. These tiers vary in their scope and mission. Strategic plans are the largest and highest-level sectors of any organization; the strategic plan focuses on the organization’s direction and overall mission. The strategic plan is decided and carried out at the corporate level of a company.

The tactical plan is, most commonly, a subset or a division of a company. The tactical plan features a variety of specific tasks that are designed to assist the strategic plan in achieving success. Finally, the operational plan is the sector of an organization that specifically carries out the strategies set forth by both the tactical and strategic plans. The operational plan can be a specific department within a division of a company.

The operational plan is usually the most detailed plan of action for an organization. It features the who, what ,where and when of the strategy. An example of operational planning would be a department manager cutting multiple employees and instituting new customer service measures that will assist the tactical plan of cutting costs by 10% and increasing revenue and client retention by 30%, which in turn supports the strategic plan of increasing company growth over the fiscal year.

This is a very bare bones look at operational planning. Of course, it can get a bit more complicated and in-depth and so I encourage you to look more into operational planning. It is an essential component of any organization, and for those looking to rise in the ranks of their company, you should certainly learn as much as you can.